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Rule

Security Zones; Passenger Vessels, Portland, Maine, Captain of the Port Zone

Document Details

Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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Start Preamble

AGENCY:

Coast Guard, DOT.

ACTION:

Temporary final rule.

SUMMARY:

The Coast Guard is establishing moving and fixed security zones around high capacity passenger vessels, including international ferries, located in the Portland, Maine, Captain of the Port zone. These actions are necessary to ensure public safety and prevent sabotage or terrorist acts against these vessels. Persons and vessels are prohibited from entering these security zones without permission of the Captain of the Port, Portland, Maine.

DATES:

This rule is effective from September 25, 2002, until December 1, 2002.

ADDRESSES:

Documents as indicated in this preamble are available for inspection or copying at Marine Safety Office Portland, Maine, 103 Commercial Street, Portland, Maine 04101 between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal Holidays.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Lieutenant (Junior Grade) R. F. Pigeon, Port Operations Department, Marine Safety Office Portland, Maine at (207) 780-3251.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Regulatory Information

We did not publish a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) for this regulation. Under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B), the Coast Guard finds that good cause exists for not publishing an NPRM. Due to the warnings given by national security and intelligence officials that there is an Start Printed Page 62374increased risk that further subversive or terrorist activity may be launched against the United States, the Homeland Security Advisory System level was upgraded to “high” and the Maritime Security (MARSEC) Level was raised to Level II indicating a heightened threat. As a result, a heightened level of security has been established around all passenger vessels in the Portland, Maine, Captain of the Port zone. These security zones are needed to protect passenger vessels, persons aboard passenger vessels, the public, waterways, ports and adjacent facilities from sabotage or other subversive acts, accidents, or other events of a similar nature taken upon passenger vessels in the Portland, Maine, Captain of the Port zone.

Passenger vessels have already begun their seasonal arrivals in the Portland, Maine, Captain of the Port zone. Any delay in the effective date of this rule, is contrary to the public interest insofar as it may render individuals and facilities within, and adjacent to, passenger vessels vulnerable to subversive activity, sabotage or terrorist attack. The measures contemplated by this rule are intended to prevent future terrorist attacks against individuals and facilities within or adjacent to passenger vessels. Immediate action is required to accomplish these objectives and necessary to continue safeguarding these vessels and the surrounding area.

For the reasons stated in the paragraphs above, under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3), the Coast Guard also finds that good cause exists for making this rule effective less than 30 days after publication in the Federal Register.

Background and Purpose

On September 11, 2001, terrorists launched attacks on commercial and public structures (airplanes, the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia) killing large numbers of people and damaging properties of national significance. There is an increased risk that further subversive or terrorist activity may be launched against the United States based on warnings given by national security and intelligence officials.

Due to these warnings, on September 10, 2002 the Homeland Security Advisory System level was upgraded to “high” and the Maritime Security (MARSEC) Level was raised to Level II indicating a heightened threat. As a result, a heightened level of security has been established around all passenger vessels in the Portland, Maine, Captain of the Port zone. In addition, the increased tensions in the Middle East have made it prudent for select facilities and vessels to be on a higher state of alert because terrorist organizations have publicly declared an ongoing intention to conduct armed attacks on U.S. interests worldwide.

These heightened security concerns, together with the catastrophic impact that a terrorist attack against a passenger vessel would have to the public interest, make these security zones prudent on the navigable waterways of the United States. Vessels operating near passenger vessels present possible platforms from which individuals may gain unauthorized access to these vessels or launch terrorist attacks upon these vessels. As a result, the Coast Guard is taking measures to prevent vessels or persons from accessing the navigable waters close to passenger vessels in the Portland, Maine, Captain of the Port zone.

Discussion of Rule

This regulation establishes temporary security zones that will be in effect in the navigable waters within a 100-yard radius around any passenger vessel that is moored, or in the process of mooring, at any berth or anchored within the Portland, Maine, Captain of the Port zone. While underway, the security zone will be 100 yards on each side and astern of the passenger vessel and 200 yards ahead which is needed due to the passenger vessel's speed of advance through the water. To clarify which types of passenger vessels this rule applies to, we have adopted a modified version of the definition in 33 CFR 120.100 for this rule by removing the requirement for “making voyages lasting more than 24 hours” and by increasing the requirement for number of passengers from “authorized to carry more than 12 passengers for hire” to “authorized to carry more than 500 passengers for hire”. This change allows for including high capacity cruise ships and international ferries under the definition while excluding smaller vessels.

These security zones are needed to protect passenger vessels, persons aboard passenger vessels, the public, waterways, ports and adjacent facilities from sabotage or other subversive acts, accidents, or other events of a similar nature taken upon passenger vessels in the Portland, Maine, Captain of the Port zone. Entry into these zones will be prohibited unless specifically authorized by the Captain of the Port or his designated representative. Vessels already moored or anchored when these security zones take effect are not required to get underway to avoid either the moving or fixed zones unless specifically ordered to do so by the Captain of the Port or his designated representative.

The Captain of the Port will enforce these zones and may enlist the aid and cooperation of any Federal, state, county, municipal, or private agency to assist in the enforcement of the regulation. To the extent that each is applicable, this regulation is issued under the authority contained in 33 U.S.C. 1226 and 1231; 50 U.S.C. 191; 33 CFR 1.05-1(g), 6.04-1, 6.04-6 and 160.5; and 49 CFR 1.46.

Any violation of the security zones described herein is punishable by, among others, civil penalties (not to exceed $25,000 per violation, where each day of a continuing violation is a separate violation), criminal penalties (imprisonment for not more than 10 years and a fine of not more than $250,000), in rem liability against the offending vessel and license sanctions.

Regulatory Evaluation

This rule is not a “significant regulatory action” under section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866, Regulatory Planning and Review, and does not require an assessment of potential costs and benefits under section 6(a)(3) of that Order. The Office of Management and Budget has not reviewed it under that Order. It is not “significant” under the regulatory policies and procedures of the Department of Transportation (DOT) (44 FR 11040, February 26, 1979). These zones will encompass a small portion of the waterway for a limited period of time. There is ample room for vessels to navigate around the security zones and delays, if any, are expected to be minimal. Vessels and persons may be allowed to enter these zones on a case-by-case basis with permission of the Captain of the Port.

Small Entities

Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601-612), we have considered whether this rule would have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The term “small entities” comprises small businesses, not-for-profit organizations that are independently owned and operated and are not dominant in their fields, and governmental jurisdictions with populations of less than 50,000.

For the same reasons stated in the Regulatory Evaluation section above, the Coast Guard certifies under 5 U.S.C. 605(b) that this rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. Start Printed Page 62375

Assistance for Small Entities

Under section 213(a) of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (Pub. L. 104-121), we offer to assist small entities in understanding the rule so that they can better evaluate its effects on them and participate in the rulemaking process. If this rule will affect your small business, organization, or government jurisdiction and you have questions concerning its provisions or operations for compliance, please contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT for assistance in understanding this rule.

Small businesses may send comments on the actions of Federal employees who enforce, or otherwise determine compliance with, Federal regulations to the Small Business and Agriculture Regulatory Enforcement Ombudsman and the Regional Small Business Regulatory Fairness Boards. The Ombudsman evaluates these actions annually and rates each agency's responsiveness to small business. If you wish to comment on actions by employees of the Coast Guard, call 1-888-REG-FAIR (1-888-734-3247).

Collection of Information

This rule calls for no new collection of information under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520).

Federalism

A rule has implications for federalism under Executive Order 13132, Federalism, if it has a substantial direct effect on State or local governments and would either preempt State law or impose a substantial direct cost of compliance on them. We have analyzed this rule under that Order and have determined that it does not have implications for federalism.

Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

The Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (2 U.S.C. 1531-1538) requires Federal agencies to assess the effects of their discretionary regulatory actions. In particular, the Act addresses actions that may result in the expenditure by a State, local, or tribal government, in the aggregate, or by the private sector of $100,000,000 or more in any one year. Though this rule will not result in such an expenditure, we do discuss the effects of this rule elsewhere in this preamble.

Taking of Private Property

This rule will not effect a taking of private property or otherwise have taking implications under Executive Order 12630, Governmental Actions and Interference with Constitutionally Protected Property Rights.

Civil Justice Reform

This rule meets applicable standards in sections 3(a) and 3(b)(2) of Executive Order 12988, Civil Justice Reform, to minimize litigation, eliminate ambiguity, and reduce burden.

Protection of Children

We have analyzed this rule under Executive Order 13045, Protection of Children from Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks. This rule is not an economically significant rule and does not create an environmental risk to health or risk to safety that may disproportionately affect children.

Indian Tribal Governments

This rule does not have tribal implications under Executive Order 13175, Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments, because it does not have a substantial direct effect on one or more Indian tribes, on the relationship between the Federal Government and Indian tribes, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities between the Federal Government and Indian tribes.

Energy Effects

We have analyzed this rule under Executive Order 13211, Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use. We have determined that it is not a “significant energy action” under that order because it is not a “significant regulatory action” under Executive Order 12866 and is not likely to have a significant adverse effect on the supply, distribution, or use of energy. It has not been designated by the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs as a significant energy action. Therefore, it does not require a Statement of Energy Effects under Executive Order 13211.

Environment

We have considered the environmental impact of this rule and concluded that under figure 2-1, paragraph (34)(g), of Commandant Instruction M16475.lD, this rule is categorically excluded from further environmental documentation because we are establishing a temporary security zone. A “Categorical Exclusion Determination” is available in the docket for inspection or copying where indicated under ADDRESSES.

Start List of Subjects

List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 165

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For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Coast Guard amends

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PART 165—REGULATED NAVIGATION AREAS AND LIMITED ACCESS AREAS

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1. The authority citation for part 165 continues to read as follows:

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Authority: 33 U.S.C. 1231; 50 U.S.C. 191; 33 CFR 1.05-1(g), 6.04-1, 6.04-6 and 160.5; 49 CFR 1.46.

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2. Add temporary § 165.T01-114 to read as follows:

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Security Zones; Passenger Vessels, Portland, Maine, Captain of the Port Zone.

(a) Definition. “Passenger vessel” as used in this section means a passenger vessel over 100 gross tons, authorized to carry more than 500 passengers for hire; making voyages of which any part is on the high seas; and for which passengers are embarked or disembarked in the Portland, Maine, Captain of the Port zone as defined in 33 CFR 3.05-15.

(b) Location. The following areas are security zones:

(1) All navigable waters within a 100-yard radius around any passenger vessel that is moored, or in the process of mooring, at any berth or anchored within the Portland, Maine, Captain of the Port zone.

(2) All navigable waters of the Portland, Maine, Captain of the Port zone 200-yards ahead, and 100-yards on each side and astern of any passenger vessel that is underway.

(c) Regulations. (1) In accordance with the general regulations in § 165.33 of this part, entry into or movement within these zones is prohibited unless previously authorized by the Coast Guard Captain of the Port, Portland, Maine (COTP) or his designated representative. These security zones will not preclude the routine loading and unloading of passengers, vehicles or cargo; or movement of authorized employees and support personnel at any facility or aboard any passenger vessel.

(2) All persons and vessels must comply with the instructions of the COTP or the designated on-scene Coast Guard patrol personnel. On-scene Coast Guard patrol personnel include commissioned, warrant and petty officers of the Coast Guard on board Coast Guard, Coast Guard Auxiliary, and local, state and federal law enforcement vessels. Emergency response vessels are authorized to move within the zone, but must abide by restrictions imposed by the COTP or his designated representative. Start Printed Page 62376

(3) No person may swim upon or below the surface of the water within the boundaries of these security zones unless previously authorized by the COTP or his designated representative.

(d) Effective period. This section is effective from September 25, 2002, through December 1, 2002.

Start Signature

Dated: September 25, 2002.

W.W. Briggs,

Acting Commander, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port, Portland, Maine.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 02-25405 Filed 10-4-02; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4910-15-P